Ana Hatherly, April 25th 1974.
or the Portuguese revolution 40 years ago.
Portugal always had this need of dragging its own past with it, and its past has so much weight in its people that they never have strength enough to go further to the future. A generation ago was still celebrating the discoveries with their ex-colonies, and now it’s time for this generation to celebrate the last one’s: the revolution of the carnations, which ended with the dictatorship to give them all the feeling of liberty, – even though, they now chose a president and government who are a refreshed dictatorship in the closet. Maybe because the prime minister is similar to the former dictator – less honest though, – or maybe because the President of the Republic belonged to the secret police of the dictatorship himself, having sold the country to the finantial entities, being Opus Dei, putting always the banks and Catholic religion ahead of the country. But nobody cares. They must be putting xanax in the water because people stopped reacting. In their own old sad fado music.
But the April 25th, 40 years ago brought indeed freedom of speech, and with it, freedom in culture. I was a litle kid. I remember that my father took me out to see the army holding their rifles with carnations on the top of the military tanks. And suddenly, there were lots of artists painting murals. Most of these paintings were politics, of course, and mostly from the blooming left wing parties. There were some great ones, and graffiti took place there as well.
One of these artists is an amazing woman, who introduced the real graffiti in Portugal, who painted murals as revolutionary activist or just celebrating the freedom of expression. A poet who wrote her own poems of freedom in graffiti, who draw them, paint them. Ana Hatherly was incredibly active, a cultural character to whom Portugal never gave the deserved merit. I met her several times and I had wonderful talks with her in Lisbon, (I invited her also to be part of a massive salon of artists that I curated after working in Cultural Centre in Lisbon, including other artists like the French born Joana Vasconcelos), in Barcelona, or Paris.
Ana Hatherly was born in 1929 in Porto, Portugal, to become a Professor, poet, writer, visual artist. She has the master in cinema, which she took in London, and German literature, that she took in Lisbon. And Spanish studies, that she took in California. She got several international awards, most of them due to her experimental poetry.
But here I want to make a small tribute to her, on this day of April 25th in which Portugal celebrates the “Revoluçao dos Cravos”. For that, I brought some of her photographs, – which are not so well known -, that she took on this day, 40 years ago.
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